Taj Gibson felt the wrath of a veteran teammate during his rookie season with the Bulls. But this story of locker room high jinks had a happy ending.
"One day I fouled Brad Miller real hard. I busted his lip," Gibson recalled. "Man, he was so mad at me. He told me I had to bring him breakfast every day for a month. I was waking up every day crack of dawn to bring him breakfast.
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"But he was so cool, to the point where it kind of brought us together. After a while, he got so much respect for me, whatever I brought him, he was giving me extra money for it. It was a great experience."
When Joakim Noah was a Bulls rookie, he talked about trekking all the way to Mundelein to purchase Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the veterans before practice. Gibson and fellow rookie James Johnson were given "Dora the Explorer" backpacks to carry around.
But compared to the Miami Dolphins hazing story, which resulted in two offensive linemen leaving the team, the Bulls say they have no issues.
"I love my rooks," Noah said at Friday's shootaround. "I don't want them to feel terrorized when they come to practice. It's probably not a good feeling. But I don't know, I'm not a football player, I don't think it really happens too much in basketball. ... There's no bullying going on in the Chicago Bulls locker room."
For many years, the Bulls have stressed having players with strong character on the roster.
"I think the culture is important and we like to think we give everyone a fair shake, and winners come in all different personality and types," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You can tolerate some idiosyncrasies, but you can never let anything get in the way of winning."
Thibs talks good health:
It's been a rough week for professional coaches. Charlotte Bobcats' first-year coach Steve Clifford missed Friday's game against New York after experiencing chest pains, then having stents placed in his heart. He's expected to make a quick recovery.
In the NFL, Denver Broncos coach John Fox and Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak were sidelined by recent ailments.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau sympathized with the situation before Friday's game.
"It's a tough job. You have to take care of yourself," he said at the morning shootaround. "You feel for those guys. Sometimes you get wrapped up in it and you have the tendency to grind. And you're always grinding, and once the season starts you're never off.
"You can leave the office but the job's not going to leave you. It's always on your mind. So I think you have to find a couple things that can get your mind off it -- whether it's the movies, reading a book, whatever it might be -- I think that's important."
Big brother is working:
Joakim Noah was asked about comments made by Indiana's Paul George after the Pacers beat the Bulls on Wednesday. George said the Pacers want to "step away from that shadow as the little brother of this division," and also mentioned that the Bulls' success is the Michael Jordan era.
"It's all good," said Noah. "It's Game 5 of the season and it's a long journey. We'll see those guys again. Anybody who wants what we want I don't really like at this point. So right now it's not about them or anybody (being a rival). It's about us and we've got to get better."